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Michael Lavorgna  |  May 12, 2016
I was very tempted to reduce the size of this image to reduce its pain-inducing impact

First things first—who the hell designed that logo? If the message you want to convey about high-res music is that it's very old-fashioned, has little real money behind it, and it sounds kinda painful and spiky and stings like a bee, bravo, a job well done. I know that's harsh, so let me apologize to whomever RIAA member's son or daughter designed that logo.

From the press release dated May 11, 2016:

Michael Lavorgna  |  May 10, 2016
From the press release:
Munich, May 6, 2016—Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced a long-term licensing deal with music technology specialists MQA. The agreement – the first between MQA and any major music company – will significantly increase music fans’ access to hi-resolution music globally. The agreement paves the way for recordings from WMG’s diverse roster of acclaimed artists and its world-renowned catalogue to be made available in studio master quality through MQA distributors.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 03, 2016
Let's say you want less boxes in your hi-fi but you don't want to give up the stuff you need and the stuff you like. And the stuff you need includes a DAC and the stuff you like (need?) includes Roon and Tidal HiFi. Well, more and more companies are answering your wants and needs by introducing what can best be described as networked DACs: In addition to the usual digital inputs (USB, S/PDIF), companies are adding Ethernet to their D to A converters so that they can stream from network attached storage and the Internet without the need for another box. Case in point, Ayre's new QX-5 Twenty: The Digital Hub.
RIP
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 22, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 14, 2016
From the press release:
New York, April 13, 2016 - The 1.2 release of Roon marks the launch of the Roon Core partner program, which places the Roon Core software functions into partner devices so that server companies can offer a turnkey Roon experience.
"For many customers, the journey of building and managing a computer audio system is a hobby that they enjoy, but for others, working through the challenges of making an ideal computer audio system is an obstacle to enjoying music.

"The Roon Core program means that these customers can leave the technology to others and have an off-the-shelf experience of Roon from trusted partners."—Roon Labs CEO, Enno Vandermeer

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 12, 2016
From the press release, here's company president & CEO Xuanqian Wang:
"The new ALTAIR is both a high quality streamer and DAC, and was designed based on feedback from dealers for an exceptional yet convenient-to-operate Digital Source unit at an $1,800 - $2,000 price point.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 12, 2016

The Loudness Petition Group, which consists of members Eelco Grimm (Grimm Audio and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht), Bob Katz (Digital Domain), Matt Mayfield (Matt Mayfield Music) and Ian Shepherd (Mastering Media), is on a mission to cut the legs and logic out from under the excessive use of dynamic compression in our music. Their proposal and petition aims to get streaming services to apply "loudness normalization" by default (the loudness level as defined the Audio Engineering Society recommendations), thus rendering all streaming music equal in terms of volume level. Check out that video for a nice illustration of the problem.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 10, 2016
photo credits: Nativ

From the Press Release:

Nativ Vita is the world’s first high-end music player with a 11.6” touchscreen and pioneering user interface to conveniently access all of today’s music. Play popular streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal directly from the built-in LCD, and stream stunning music videos to your TV via HDMI or wirelessly with Google Cast. Nativ Vita supports Apple Airplay, Spotify Connect, Google Cast and Bluetooth aptX for seamless integration of your mobile devices, and plays music from your Mac, PC or NAS through its ultra-fast 802.11ac and Gigabit networking technology. Network music libraries can also be navigated with the pre-installed music interface from Roon. Large music libraries can be stored directly on the built-in hard disk or SSD drives with up to 4TB capacity.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 03, 2016
Peachtree 2.0 (from left): David Solomon, VP Sales and Marketing, Jim Spainhour, Vice President of Product Development, Andrew Clark, President

In a press event held at Stereo Exchange in NYC, Peachtree Audio introduced us to Peachtree 2.0. I think it's fair to say that Peachtree Audio has been rather quietly going about its business as of late. They've moved much of their production back to North America from China, they've implemented multi-tiered quality control in every phase of production, and continued to develop what we've come to expect from the company; solidly engineered and built audio products with an eye toward incorporating new technology at very competitive prices. Peachtree 2.0 marks, in my words, the end of the "rather quietly" bit.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 30, 2016
photo credits: SOtM

From the press release:

The iSO-CAT6 Special Edition that newly combined with dCBL-CAT7 cable is configured with 3 kinds of network cables offering respectively different sound characteristics with high quality, which allows the user organize own unique customized audio system selecting bright & pompous tone, neutral, mild & comfortable tone.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 30, 2016
What's more, and most interesting (and I have to admit a little unexpected), is there are 1.35 million Tidal HiFi subscribers (that's the $19.99/mo CD quality service)! That's a lot of people caring about quality and that's great news. For a change.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 23, 2016
...says Captain Obvious. It's also the present for most, according to the latest report from the Recording Institute of America (RIAA). Streaming revenue hit the $2.4 billion mark last year, up from $1.9 billion the year prior. CD sales are sliding but still strong at $1.5 billion, and vinyl sales continue to grow reaching $422 million in 2015. 1
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 10, 2016
Sonos CEO and cofounder John MacFarlane announced in a blog post that the company is shedding some employees and focusing on paid streaming services, what they consider to be the future of music delivery, coupled with Amazon Echo-like voice recognition/control.

From the blog post:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 10, 2016
The short story: the original Montreal show organizers, Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay, along with industry members have created a non-profit organization and have taken over the renamed Montréal Salon Audio / Audio Fest which is back on schedule, opening as planned on March 18th. Here's the press release:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 09, 2016
From today's press release:
It is with considerable sadness that we have to inform you that it has been decided to defer this year’s Salon Son & Image Show/Montreal Audio Show due to take place at the Bonaventure Hotel on the 18 – 20 March 2016.

The deciding factor has been market support, with a substantial drop in companies wanting to support this long established event.

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